Communication rights will be part of the World Council of Churches' (WCC) 10th Assembly, scheduled to take place in Busan, South Korea, from October 30 to November 8, 2013. WACC is sponsoring the participation of eight journalists from community radio organizations.
Two each will be arriving from Radio Padma 99.2 FM (Bangladesh), Radio Bubusa FM (Congo – DRC), Radio Vesta (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and Radio Comunitaria JËNPOJ (Mexico). The journalists are co-sponsored by the WCC communications department and they will cover the pre-assemblies and the Assembly itself in addition to the workshop.
"I am happy that WACC is able to support the WCC Assembly through the participation and accreditation of these community radio teams. Their reporting will not only interpret ecumenical work to their very specific communities, but Assembly participants will also be able to learn and hear more about the relevance of community radio work which sometimes takes place in very difficult contexts," commented WACC General Secretary, the Rev. Karin Achtelstetter.
Radio Padma is operated by WACC member Centre for Communication and Development in the northern Rajshahi region of Bangladesh. It is one of that country’s first community radio stations. Rajshahi has a high proportion of illiterate people.
Radio Bubusa is a community radio operated by WACC member Sauti ya Mwanamke Kijijini (SAMWAKI) for rural women in the village of Mugogo and surrounding countryside in South Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Radio Vesta, located in Tuzla in Bosnia and Herzegovina, promotes active citizenship and human rights, focusing mainly on women, children and youth.
Radio JËNPOJ in Santa María Tlahuitoltepec, Mexico, serves the Ayuujk-speaking Mixe indigenous community in the mountainous Sierra Norte of the state of Oaxaca.
The theme of the WCC Assembly is “God of life, lead us to justice and peace." WACC will be presenting a workshop titled “Hearing Many Voices for Justice and Peace.” Participants will explore the relevance of communication rights to transforming political, economic and social structures and to improving lives and livelihoods.
The workshop will focus on the role of community radio in voicing the concerns of poor, marginalized, excluded and dispossessed people. WACC is currently coordinating an initiative focused on increasing the number of communities benefiting from stronger and more inclusive community radio in order to advance democratic participation and active citizenship.
Topics to be covered include experiences of empowering people through communication to express their aspirations and needs, strengthening the voices of women, the democratization of the media, and the role of social media and digital platforms.